YBOR CITY, Fla. — Like it did for so many restaurants, the pandemic brought tough times to Tampa’s 7th and Grove.
“Letting everyone go was very hard, but the upside is the community rallied around us,” said owner Kahlilah McDuffie.
7th and Grove opened a year and a half ago, cooking something different in Ybor City.
“You come in here for delicious food. The food that makes you think of mom and pops. Makes you want to sit back on the couch once you are done,” said manager Christopher Glenn.
Favorite dishes include the double beef patty burger and collard green egg rolls.
“We call it elevated soul food,” said McDuffie.
But now, their soul food is elevated to a whole new level.
An ad agency picked 7th and Grove to be part of a national Pepsi campaign promoting black-owned restaurants.
The first commercial aired Saturday during the Buccaneers vs. Lions game.
“I watched the commercial with my mom. We like to consider ourselves famous now,” said general manager Tatiana Brown.
Pepsi’s Dig In campaign wants to generate at least $100 million in sales for black-owned restaurants over the next five years.
🍽️ Ready to dine for a good cause? 🍽️ We are proud to announce Pepsi Dig In – a platform that supports black-owned restaurants by providing training, business growth opportunities, and raising visibility for the industry. Stay tuned for more information. pic.twitter.com/axzxDXkpNB— Pepsi (@pepsi) December 26, 2020
PepsiCo also has plans to fund training and mentorship.
“I have a tear of joy in my eye. It’s like we are making it. We are doing what we set out to do, which is become part of the community, be deeply rooted and have everybody know our name,” said Glenn.
7th and Grove hopes to open more locations.
In the meantime, they’ll be in more ads, running during the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.